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Author Topic: Precoqnition (fortune telling) for real?  (Read 984 times)
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Razgon
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« on: April 24, 2009, 12:58:06 PM »

So, I've been watching 4400 these past few weeks, and am really digging some of the stuff in there. Especially Maria's ability to predict the future. But, like whenever I see something like that, I get to thinking, how is that even possible, and my mind drifts off to Isaac Asimovs Foundation series, where psychohistory actually uses a mathematical formula to predict the future.

Anyways- I always end up thinking about free will as well, and how that would affect predictions, if at all.

Interestingly, the Matrix series covers this pretty well, stating (paraphrasing here) "You have already made the choice, now you just need to understand why".

So, if we think like Isaac Asimov, and use mathematics, should we able to predict the future? I mean, to some degree, we actually do this already, statistics are released every year that predicts the future. For instance, I can say within a pretty large certainity that between 350-400 people will be killed this year in Denmark due to traffic accidents. This has always been mindboggling to me, that - the larger the amount of people, the more easy (and accurate!!) it is to predict the future!

SO, basically, Mai's ability to predict the future could be simply that, acces to a great mathematical/analytical mind and then its just translated into pictures for her in her own mind.

So - what do you think - can we at some point predict the future?
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TK-421
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 01:16:06 PM »

I predicted that I wasn't going to respond to this thread.


Turns out I was wrong.
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TiLT
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 01:50:00 PM »

Sure, psychohistory is theoretically possible in a distant future. It's not an accurate form of prediction though.

Major Foundation spoilers below:

Spoiler for Hiden:
It also turns out even psychohistory's founder didn't believe it would work on its own, so he introduced a society entirely dedicated to "correcting" future events so that they would lead into what he had predicted.

This thread is an oxymoron btw. You're essentially asking: "Please predict if we can ever predict the future".
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Ironrod
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 04:00:05 PM »

I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Does all of time exist simultaneously, with only the illusion that the present divides past from future? If so then is the future immutable? If it's not, can the past also be changed? Precognition implies predestination which negates free will. That makes me uncomfortable on one level and reassures me on another.

I think that only NOW exists, eternally, and past and future are illusions. But of course that contradicts the universal subjective sensation of time passing.

I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Wait, did I say that already?
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PeteRock
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 04:03:00 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on April 24, 2009, 04:00:05 PM

I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Wait, did I say that already?

I can tell you that it fucking drags on Fridays when shit hits the fan and happy hour seems like an eternity away. 
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CeeKay
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 04:04:17 PM »

I predict Ironrod will post before me and repeat himself at least once.
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Razgon
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 04:10:35 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on April 24, 2009, 01:50:00 PM

Sure, psychohistory is theoretically possible in a distant future. It's not an accurate form of prediction though.

Major Foundation spoilers below:

Spoiler for Hiden:
It also turns out even psychohistory's founder didn't believe it would work on its own, so he introduced a society entirely dedicated to "correcting" future events so that they would lead into what he had predicted.

This thread is an oxymoron btw. You're essentially asking: "Please predict if we can ever predict the future".


aye, well Asimov made a nice summary of it as well, stating that the greater number of people involved, the greater the accuracy. It would never be possible to predict an individual...yet
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Moliere
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 04:12:14 PM »

[Decode with JulianCode at http://etntelephone.com/encrypter/

mEOQAgINmUYGYMkUYGgJokZ2Ei?J)nEizPBvEikUYGQJkTCbiT
xFYGRT4FYGYNwFYGNSjeCjNXjeCjWJkEQ

The decode key will be given once my prediction comes true. Shouldn't be long now...
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CeeKay
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 04:36:22 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on April 24, 2009, 04:12:14 PM

mEOQAgINmUYGYMkUYGgJokZ2Ei?J)nEizPBvEikUYGQJkTCbiT
xFYGRT4FYGYNwFYGNSjeCjNXjeCjWJkEQ

you're right.
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Moliere
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2009, 04:37:23 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 24, 2009, 04:36:22 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 24, 2009, 04:12:14 PM

mEOQAgINmUYGYMkUYGgJokZ2Ei?J)nEizPBvEikUYGQJkTCbiT
xFYGRT4FYGYNwFYGNSjeCjNXjeCjWJkEQ

you're right.

Use the decode key "CeeKay".   icon_twisted
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2009, 04:45:22 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on April 24, 2009, 04:37:23 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 24, 2009, 04:36:22 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 24, 2009, 04:12:14 PM

mEOQAgINmUYGYMkUYGgJokZ2Ei?J)nEizPBvEikUYGQJkTCbiT
xFYGRT4FYGYNwFYGNSjeCjNXjeCjWJkEQ

you're right.

Use the decode key "CeeKay".   icon_twisted

yeah, it was the first one I tried  Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2009, 05:15:20 PM »

I predict that the GT makeover won't happen prior to April 25th, 2009.
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2009, 05:45:01 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on April 24, 2009, 05:15:20 PM

I predict that the GT makeover won't happen prior to April 25th, 2009.

GET OUT OF MY HEAD.
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Turtle
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2009, 12:32:45 AM »

Uh guys, we're already predicting the future, your mind does it every single moment you're alive, it's how we humans exist.  But, it's no special trick.

Instead, you have to realize that there is a very small delay between what every human perceives with his senses, this includes the act of sensing and the brain processing that raw data into something usable.  Because of this, all brains have a basic ability to use prior information to predict what will happen in that delay.

This is also why certain optical illusions work.  Certain patters to the human eye are processed by the brain that trigger a predictive response.

Taking this even further, we also predict the weather somewhat accurately two to three days in advance.

It's all a lot of probability and stuff.  And there is no absolutely predicting complex events down to small details, and no absolute predicting of everything due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

I guess what I'm saying is, predicting the future, remains in the realm of science fiction, but it's pretty cool to realize the amazing stuff we're doing along those lines right now.  Isn't science cool?
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2009, 01:00:42 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on April 25, 2009, 12:32:45 AM

Uh guys, we're already predicting the future, your mind does it every single moment you're alive, it's how we humans exist.  But, it's no special trick.

Instead, you have to realize that there is a very small delay between what every human perceives with his senses, this includes the act of sensing and the brain processing that raw data into something usable.  Because of this, all brains have a basic ability to use prior information to predict what will happen in that delay.

This is also why certain optical illusions work.  Certain patters to the human eye are processed by the brain that trigger a predictive response.

Taking this even further, we also predict the weather somewhat accurately two to three days in advance.

It's all a lot of probability and stuff.  And there is no absolutely predicting complex events down to small details, and no absolute predicting of everything due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

I guess what I'm saying is, predicting the future, remains in the realm of science fiction, but it's pretty cool to realize the amazing stuff we're doing along those lines right now.  Isn't science cool?

So what you're saying is that my prediction about the GT update is coming true based on my triggering of a predicitve response?  icon_twisted
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CeeKay
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 01:02:37 AM »

I predicted he'd say that.
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 02:38:46 AM »

So, I've had dreams where I saw a particular moment from a particular point of view which then faded from memory (as dreams are wont to do) only to come screaming back to the forefront of my mind, when that moment happened, from precisely the point of view which I remembered from the dream.  Call it deja vu if you like, but I know it's happened a number of times to me - at least a couple of dozen times in my life.

The question is, did I dream an exact moment of time in the future or did I somehow invent the memory of a dream of that particular moment spontaneously?  I'm inclined towards the former.. which implies that there may be some way to link dreams to the future.

Or it could be sheer random REMs generating the image of a future image I would see/hear/touch/taste/smell from sheer random electron firings during my REM sleep?(though I cannot recall much other than see/hear in my dreams, AFAIK)
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 04:31:14 AM »

It's usually invention combined with recognition and confirmation bias.  Your mind doesn't really have to come up with the exact thing, it just has to be ballpark close to what you just experienced.

Statistically, you think about a lot of things, while both awake and sleeping.  Given a small amount of time with no important tasks to perform, your mind will probably wander through all sorts of thoughts, including going through short thoughts about all the people, places, and things in your life, and most of the time you just go through the thought and forget it.  Even while working your mind will wander while doing monotonous tasks.

This is also how you get those situations where you're thinking about someone and the phone rings and its him.  Seems mystical, but in reality you probably think about that person all the time and just simply forget having thought about him.  Consider how many times you think about something and it doesn't happen, or dream something and it doesn't happen, if it doesn't happen, you just forget about it.  But, say you just happen to be thinking about someone and later, could be seconds, minutes, or hours, that person calls or shows up.  Your innate confirmation bias would make you recall having thought about that person simply because he's now interacting with you.

The same could be said for more dire events, like with the death of a loved one.  Chances are, you often have loved ones on the mind.

Also, throughout your day we do encounter very similar situations all the time, especially so since we only remember small parts of what we experience.  Since our minds only remember parts of it, and fills in the rest, we tend to fill in any experience that seems similar with that of a previous experience, which leads to de ja vu.

In my case, I had gone to a business party at an office I hadn't been to before, while there I had a really, really strong sense of having been here before and doing similar things.  This stuck with me for some time.  Later, I realized that while I hadn't been to that place and done the same things before, I had been to similar offices (and really, almost all offices are alike) and done similar things.
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Razgon
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 07:34:44 AM »

Deja Vu's have been investigated a lot of course, and the last theory I heard, was that a deja vu (All over again) was basically when you had a mini-blackout. The blackout is so fast, that the mind actually registers the scene before you twice, thus, creating the deju vu...all over again
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 07:42:27 AM »

That's another theory too.  Other common ones are processing differences between the right and left brains, but I think that one is more urban myth from TV rather than a study result.

The key thing to remember guys is that our brains are not the amazing things so many people think it is.  We're not just using 10% of our brains, we're using all of it, and most of it is just doing the gruntwork data processing tasks of keeping you alive.

Our brains are a haphazard mishmash of evolutionary designs layered one on top of the other, with plenty of wonky results as you can see on the news daily.  Heck, the lowest level of brain we have is remarkably similar to the primitive reptile brain.  Which is cool, and disturbing at the same time.
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